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PLACE VENDÔME

COMPLICITÉ

Czapek & Cie launches Place Vendôme Complicité, a unique reinterpretation of a double escapement combination initially created in 1930 and very rare in wristwatches. Two independent escapements beat at their own pace, with any rate variations balanced by a differential at 12 o’clock, all beautifully laid out on the dial side.

presentation

As always at Czapek, the creation of the Place Vendôme Complicité has been as much a human story as a technical and artistic one. As a fundamental value, Czapek defends the concept of établissage – the ecosystem of specialised workshops that once defined the entire watchmaking industry; this enables it to choose the most talented, independent specialists in each of the watchmaking crafts, bringing them together – as a conductor would unite musicians in an orchestra – to create exceptional timepieces. For Czapek, suppliers are also partners in creativity and this turned out to be decisive in Place Vendôme Complicité ever becoming a reality.

The idea for the watch was born in 2018 as an evolution of Czapek’s renowned initial models, Quai des Bergues and Place Vendôme; the movement architecture of those pieces translates into a distinctive Czapek ‘face’ with sub-dials at the 7.30 and 4.30 positions on the dial.

While the technical aspect of the double escapement concept was fascinating to Czapek’s CEO Xavier de Roquemaurel – and the group of ‘rare people’ who make up the Maison’s inner circle of collectors, investors and enthusiasts – it’s a guiding principle of Czapek that the beauty of a mechanism is as important as the beauty of the habillage – the dial, hands and case. Consequently, the architecture of every Czapek calibre is designed to unite the technical and aesthetic elements, serving and enhancing both in equal measure.


The starting point for Complicité was to respect the dial layout of the original Place Vendôme model – on which the two signature sub-dials form the base of a pyramid, completed by a third sub-dial at the apex. An initial sketch was then designed: the escapements would be at 7.30 and 4.30 and the differential that connects them would be at the 12.00 position, with both escapement trains embracing the centre.

“The real beauty of the idea lies in this way of expressing the double escapement, with the differential at 12 o’clock as a central element,” explains Xavier de Roquemaurel. “And by bringing the mechanism to the dial side and open-working everything, we would also have a beautiful kinetic sculpture.”

However, building such a movement was easier said than done; after a fruitless search for a watchmaking partner capable of reconciling the aesthetics with the technical demands, the idea was eventually put to one side. And then, one day, a story of family and friendship brought it back to life. Paul, one of Xavier’s children, was in the same school class in Neuchâtel as the daughter of watchmaker Bernhard Lederer, and a mutual friend introduced the two fathers. Their encounter led to a friendship, mutual exchanges of ideas, advice and help and, ultimately, resolved the problem, made the new double escapement architecture possible and gave birth to the watch.

The name of the new timepiece, Place Vendôme Complicité alludes to this collaboration – as well as to the complicity between two independent escapements working in unison.

The principle of the double escapement regulator is that, with two balance wheels beating independently, and power delivered from a single barrel via a differential, any variation in rate (which may be caused by gravity or various other factors inherent in everyday life) will be cancelled out, thus ensuring greater timekeeping accuracy.

With the double escapement at its heart, Czapek’s new in-house Calibre 8 is manually wound to provide a power reserve of 72 hours, which is indicated on the dial at 6 o’clock between the balance wheels. Two sapphire bridges reveal the entire gear train on the dial side, protected by a box-style sapphire crystal glass.

Dominated by distinctive, triangular bridges from which the balances are suspended, the aesthetic blends modernity with tradition, playing with the colours of different metals of various components while drawing the eye deep into the workings of the movement. Naturally, haute horlogerie finishes abound, with traditional handcrafts complemented by more contemporary decorative finishes – not only on the dial side but also on the back of the movement, where 18 inward angles have been hand-bevelled.

The crown wheel mechanism – a hidden signature of Bernhard Lederer – is integrated into the movement design as a subtle tribute to his contribution to the development of Complicité.
As a backdrop to the movement, two dial colours are offered: cool tones of grey that create a subtle harmony with a white gold case for the Place Vendôme Complicité Stardust, and a bolder combination that epitomises Czapek’s more adventurous spirit: deep sapphire blue in a rose gold case for the Place Vendôme Complicité Harmony Blue. The satin-brushing of the flange and index ring contrasts with the matte grainé surface of the baseplate.
Adding contemporary style, the hands are sword-shaped and open-worked, so as not to obstruct the view of the mechanism, and their shape is echoed by the applied hour markers. All are plated in gold to match the case material and tipped with luminescent coating to enhance legibility in low light conditions. In true Czapek style, some almost-hidden details have been added purely for aesthetic effect; for example, looking deep into the movement reveals that the post on which the hands are mounted has been open-worked to create a tiny ‘arcade des heures’ (arcade of the hours).

Inspired by the cases of Quai des Bergues and Place Vendôme, the case – a relatively compact and very wearable 41.8mm diameter – is a distillation of Czapek’s signature iconography, with sharper lines adding contemporary flair. The eye is caught by a dynamic tension between the flowing curves of the case sides and the crisp angles of the deep recesses on the sides of the lugs, the play of light and shadow amplified by a mix of brushed and polished surfaces. Completing the ensemble, an alligator strap that matches or closely complements the colour of each dial is fastened with a gold folding clasp.
“Our vision at Czapek is to be at the forefront of the evolution of modern Haute Horlogerie, projecting watchmaking’s heritage into the future,” says Xavier de Roquemaurel. “The connection with the past remains fundamental but we are expressing it in new ways – with the Place Vendôme Complicité being just the latest example of this philosophy” led by precision, creativity, aesthetic, openness, and collaboration.

COLLECTION

Place Vendôme

 

Technical Details

Swiss made
Functions
  • Hours, Minutes, Seconds & Power reserve indicator
Movement
  • Calibre 8 created in collaboration with Bernhard Lederer
  • Number of parts: 293
  • Open-work
  • Double escapement with differential gearing and central second
  • Power-reserve: 72 hours
  • Frequency: 3Hz – 21,600 VpH
  • Two variable inertia balance wheels oscillating in opposite directions, with four adjusment screws and four weights
  • Balance springs with Breguet terminal curves
  • Two Sapphire bridges with six rubies set in gold chatons
Finish
  • Hand-beveling on bridges and main plate
  • 18 inward angles hand-chamfered
Case
  • 18K 5N rose gold or white gold case with domed sapphire and sandblasted hollowed-out lugs
  • Crown protectors
  • Diameter: 41.8 mm
  • Lug to lug: 48.22 mm
  • Height with lugs: 14.8 mm
  • Height on wrist: 13.3 mm
  • Perceived height (without glass): 8.8 mm
  • Sapphire glass with double anti-reflective treatment
  • Water-resistance: 50m (5 atm)
Dial
  • Open-worked with double escapement on a ’Grainé’ main plate with blue or silver galvanic treatment
  • Circular-grained minutes and hours track
  • Partially skeletonized sword hands
  • Faceted mirror-polished indexes in gold
Strap
  • Alligator strap with 18K 5N rose gold or white gold folding buckle
Limitation
  • 100 pieces

TERMS & CONDITIONS AND PRICES

PRICE OF THE PLACE VENDÔME COMPLICITÉ IS 85’000.- CHF EXCL. TAXES

TO CONFIRM YOUR ORDER A 28’000.- CHF DEPOSIT IS KINDLY REQUESTED.

THE PLACE VENDÔME COMPLICITÉ STARDUST AND HARMONY BLUE ARE A LIMITED EDITION OF 100 PIECES.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT PLACING AN ORDER ONLINE, PLEASE CONTACT US AND READ CAREFULLY OUR TERMS & CONDITIONS

DEPOSIT AND ORDER CONFIRMATION

To order your watch, a deposit representing approximately 30% of the final price is required to confirm your interest. As soon as your deposit is executed, we will send you an advance payment receipt and an order confirmation. It is your responsibility to review the order confirmation. If you have any questions or concerns or if an order confirmation does not reflect your intentions, you should contact us at [email protected] without delay.

It can take up to 72 hours (3 days) to process an order and for the customer to receive its order confirmation. However, you will receive a Stripe payment confirmation within 24 hours.

If you have questions regarding orders please contact us by email only at [email protected]. It might take up to 72 hours to get an answer. We will answer questions based on the request urgency level.

PRICE

The relevant prices are our international prices in CHF and do not include any taxes.

In case your purchase is delivered in another country than Switzerland, you might be requested by your country’s customs authorities to pay local VAT or/and other taxes before delivery can occur. This is usually collected by our carrier during the importation process but also by your country authorities.

For US customers, an additional 3% is added to the total amount to cover the cost for US importation duties, directly paid by Czapek. Shipping and insurance are included in the price.

LIMITATION

If the model is sold out, you can send us an email to [email protected] to be placed on a wish list. In case of availability, we will contact customers on a First Come First Served basis.

DELIVERIES

First deliveries will start in January 2024 and will then be scheduled on a First Ordered First Served basis.

CANCELLATION

We perfectly understand that life is full of surprises that sometimes force us to modify our choices and priorities. Should you change your mind and cancel your order within 14 days, we will refund the full amount.
If you decide to cancel your order later, part of your deposit will be partially refundable or forfeited. Please read our complete terms and conditions for more details

To cancel your order, you must contact us at [email protected].

general terms and conditions of sale

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